A Thank You Said and a Thank You Heard…

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“When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?” someone asked me a year ago.
“Junior year in high school. Miss Trosko’s class.” 
Miss Trosko was my English teacher, and she inspired me to dream the writer’s dream. She also gave me the courage to study English Literature in college. 
Well, I wanted to thank her for giving me that A/F grade on my first paper. The “A” was for content but the “F” for grammar. Like many things in my life, I peaked early. I won the class Spelling Bee in fourth grade, but it was down hill from there. I still kan’t spel so grate. Continue reading

Wreck it Raj

Sitting in the theater last night as I watched the credits roll, something gnawed at me. I liked the ending of Wreck-it Ralph, but I hated the last line. It’s the writer in me. I thought the actual final words were weak.The decision to spend the evening at the movies came after a week of persistent bugging from the kiddos. Didn’t hurt that Hannah had a Fandango gift card to offset the cost.
So when Hubs texted that he was almost home, I pressed send and the handy-dandy iPhone5 received the digital code for a paperless ticket to the land of make-belief.I love the concept of Wreck it Ralph. The idea that the characters inside video games are real and have feelings and actually live secret lives of drama and consequence once the lights go out in the arcade. I love how the movie spanned generations of games and technology and cameo’d my favorite hopping blast from the past… Q-Bert!!

Pink Boxing Gloves … 3 Years Later.

*[Last year, I wrote a little story about my Sister and her fight with breast cancer. Today’s her birthday, and we have a lot to celebrate! But first, a little flash back to give you a glimpse of how special this woman is to me!]

*Three Years Ago

The news of my little sister’s breast cancer shadows our household and I am still shaken. My faith lies speckled with doubt.  I can’t help but ask “Why?” and ask more than once.  

God never promised that the rain would only fall on certain days. On certain folks. Or only so hard. When it rains, we all get wet. Couldn’t see the end of the rainfall in those early days.

One of the most painful moments happens while driving down to see my sister for my cousin’s wedding. This will be the first time I see Sandi after her diagnosis, and only a couple of days after her first round of chemo. I’m so anxious, I lose sleep that whole last week. 

One of the hardest parts about writing something down is that in order to remember the details, you have to go back there. I’m not gonna lie. It’s not easy to go back there. I’ll be right back.

*** Continue reading

How Do You Move a Tree House?

[Note: This is part 3 of a week long of Tree House stories…]

When the dust of emotions settled and reality set in, Hubs and I both knew that we had no choice. The tree house had to be moved. It was the only chance of the Town removing the charges and the only way we could pursue a permit. But the question evaded us:

How EXACTLY do you move a tree house?

It’s not like moving a piece of furniture, manageable with the help of a few flexed muscles and a dolly. The tree house has a tree going through it. And although it doesn’t sit on a tree, our wooden castle is no dog house.  Continue reading

Friends I Dig…

I had to beg these guys to take a two second break and pose for this pic!
And not everyone who helped is even in the picture!!

When we first moved into our little house in Locust Valley, we began to see little puddles of water in the basement every time it would rain severely. So Hubs and I drive over to Home Depot [thank God for those carts that look like cars for the girls!] to find a solution. At first we were going to break the ground in one corner and install a sump pump. But then a guy who had had a similar problem with his basement gives us different advice.

“If you want to truly waterproof your house, especially since you live on a hill, you should attack the real problem.”

“Which is??” 

His eyes twinkles with that spark that I’ve seen many a time with Home Depot employees. These guys, generally speaking, love to talk about a project, how to do it, and what supplies you’ll need.

“Come with me.” Continue reading

What’s in Your Treasure Chest?

 Returned from vacation to find my parents in my living room. They called while we were on route from Acadia National Park, and when your mom asks where your house key is, the first thought is “Yeah!” immediately followed by, “Yikes! Did I leave any dishes in the sink? Did I make my bed? Oh shnappity shnap! I think the clean laundry we didn’t pack is still covering the living room carpet!” Sigh. What can you do? 

I warned mom that the house was not perfect, and she just laughed. This is a good thing. There was a time when my spoons’ drawer [where a fork or two slip into the spoons’ slot while I’m sleeping] frazzled my mother. In fact, after one visit, I found all my spices in a totally different cabinet. The one Mom felt was more conducive to cooking. And she was right. She often is. Continue reading

Rolling with the Settlers of Catan

Of Course Someone already has a BLOG on this cool Game!

Picked up Princess #3 from a birthday party and spent a few minutes catching up with a friend, birthday girl’s mommy. We sat around her magical backyard garden-bordered cushions around the fire pit. The squared off corner is surrounded on three sides with picket fence siding on which she hung small jars with pretty little tea candles lit inside them here and there.  Times like this I wish I owned a really cool camera that can take pictures in the dark.

As we chat she tells me about the party activities. Each of the kids decorated white cardboard squares to be placed in a gigantic rectangle on the floor for a homemade life-sized board game. She showed me the softball-sized dye she created too, covered with green felt cloth and white dots. So cool. And the pieces: the kids of course. The squares had instructions like “move up three spots,” “dance free-style for thirty seconds” and one even said, “You lose 1,000,000 points.” Yeah, the last one seemed a little harsh. Hope no one landed on it! That would take the happy out my birthday! Continue reading

Stranger than the Pop in Popcorn


Photo Credit: Lionsgate & Tyler Perry
Hubby drops me off at the theater on Saturday to buy tickets while he runs a quick errand. We are 45 mins early, but it’s the weekend, the lines are long, and I need to save several seats for friends who are joining us. Yes. We’re trying to get in another date night since the kids are away. So I make my way up to the counter when my turn finally arrives and buy two tix for Tyler Perry’s new Madea’s Witness Protection movie. We’re big fans. Of both! Oh wait…

From Yesteryear to Eternity…

When I first meet my best friend, “R,” junior year in high school, we don’t really care for each other. In fact we annoy each other. I think she is too quiet. She sees me as a loud mouth. I wonder why she sits at the back of the class. She feels I just draw more attention by sitting near the front. Funny thing is, we are two of only a handful of Asian students at our Livonia high school, but the common heritage does little for our friendship. 

One day, I skip school.